Panera Bread and a Starbucks, Please!


A mini adventure to Panera deserves a treat

The past few days I’ve been thinking about how much some of my family members make me laugh. As I write, I’m sitting in Panera Bread enjoying this fabulous free wifi. I was really hungry and I currently “don’t know what to do with my life”. As much as I fronted in all my meetings today it became more than obvious that this young woman is extremely promising but she is still looking for direction.

But as I watched YouTube videos of how people planned their big dreams and ideas I felt the inspiration to write- just because someone wrote to me saying that they loved my blog posts. Immediately, I looked around and my youngest niece popped into my mind.

This summer a friend of mine and my niece were in the car. My friend tells her that he imagines me meeting my husband at Starbucks. He described him to be a white poet trying to pay for grad school. I laugh because he would not let this image go! I call out to my niece to ask her what she thinks.

She says she’s not sure but imagines that I would meet my future husband at a place I don’t often go.

“But Kou doesn’t normally go to Starbucks,” my friend said still sold on the white poet idea.

“I do,” I protested. I mention about how I normally go to places like Starbucks and Panera to have a little space to do my job search, career planning, etc. “I just try not to buy food from those places.”

“See Kou,” my niece began after a quick pause, “Would only buy something if she had to.” She began to pretend to be me in a situation where I’m enjoying the free wifi and suddenly told by one of the employees that I needed to make a purchase. She started to mutter under her breath and pretended to shuffle through her pockets and purse, then grunts (I guess as she was giving the cashier the money and taking the item).

I laughed hard. I could imagine myself behaving in that way and justifying my attitude with, “’cause times is hahd.”

So the next time you’re in a funk at Panera or Starbucks, think of how you look when you are forced to buy something in order to enjoy a “free” bathroom or wifi.